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What Went Wrong With My Link Building Strategy?

Link building is a very effective method for increasing your rankings, but sometimes people end up with no noticeable improvement, which leaves them asking the question, what went wrong with my link building strategy?

If your content is good and Google has your paged indexed properly then it can fall to link building to increase your rankings. But if that strategy is flawed in any way then those efforts will go for naught creating a lot of effort with then a frustrating lack of results.

Why does link building seem to work sometimes and not other times?

Even if you started your link building strategy session on the right page, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for ways to improve and be more effective with that strategy. Also there is the consideration of things that have changed, which you might not be aware of, that will impact your approach.

Common mistakes in link building

The things we are going to cover might not always have been mistakes from the outset. In some cases things might have started well, but flattened out in regards to effectiveness. Consider these points:

  • You need different links – Sometimes people get stuck in habits or behaviors that are comfortable, such as getting their links from the same or similar spots. Reasons those existing links might not be effective:
    • Low domain diversity – If many of your links come from the same places as your other links this does not show proper diversity to Google.
    • Lack of relevance – What does this link have to do with your content? If you provide legal services and a link comes from a site that focuses automotive repair then the link can be considered off-topic.
    • Lack of authority – Good links are from an authorative site versus low value links that don’t provide value or rankings, regardless of how many of them you have. Are your sites authorative enough?
    • Level of trustworthiness – Are these links from untrustworthy places? Promotional and paid links fall into this category.
  • Technical problems – This happens less and less, but it still happens; technical issues. Perhaps the page has an error of some sort showing content or links incorrectly.
  • Domain association – Unlike low domain diversity, this is more of a case of domain relevance. If the domain is not properly associated with the topic or content Google expects it might then discount it. Even if it is perfectly justified, there isn’t much to do about it. Ideally links should come from pages with high domain authority.
  • Too many links per page – If there are too many links on a page heading to your site it will reduce the value of that link. Make sure to check that you are not including too many links within a piece of content and with an author link. Also it is better to be the only or featured link, on a page rather than one of fifty.
  • Algorithm penalty – Sometimes a website can receive a penalty from Google because the automatic algorithms they use to present search results have ranked a site outside of their quality guidelines. This could be the case if your link building strategy is sound.
  • Other SEO factors – It is also possible that your link building is sound and is simply offsetting other negative SEO factors that are counteracting the effort you are putting out. It might be a good idea to check keyword usage, headings and all the other important aspects of good SEO to ensure your site is properly tuned up.

Need some tips?

Here are a few bonus tips that you might consider adding into your strategy to boost your results:

  • Create useful content that combines multiple resources and even includes quotes from experts. Then make sure to alert the experts and resources about the content by sending them a link and asking them to share it.
  • Create a list of libraries that link out to resources and then create a resource document for them to link to. Typically you can email general library staff without creating a relationship with them as they are looking to link to useful information as a service to patrons.
  • If you can, create some type of online tool, calculator or interactive data portal because this type of resource will get linked more than any other resource out there.
  • Guest blogging is a very valuable source for link building which can be useful for highly visual experts in fields. If you aren’t a great writer yourself but have a visible profile, consider using a ghost writer.
  • Create conversations on social media. Rather than just posting a link to content, create a useful post that looks to spark a conversation where the content is mentioned. This might mean that people start talking first and visit the site second, but that is actually much better as it exposes the content to more people.
  • Create person-to-person connections – Real people providing real endorsements are extremely valuable, especially when they then take that endorsement online. Use local groups such as Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce and the like to create good person-to-person connections and then look to add valuable links on a local level.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that link building is still a very viable method in which to increase your rankings. Changes that Google makes to how they view links might leave you wondering what went wrong with my link building strategy, but these tips should help get you back on track.

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